How big a table saw is, is determined by the largest blade the saw will hold. 8” blades are the smallest that should be used for any home workshop. You can get blades in 9”, 10”, and 12” sizes as well. Most workshops will not really need the 12” blade as this has a very deep cut capability, but for construction firms and larger, commercial shops, the 12” comes in handy.
Bosch’s REAXX and SawStop were neck and neck with near perfect cleanup at the collection point and only a slight amount of dust coming out toward the user. What did make it out was even less coarse than the other Pro level saws. Both saws have narrower throat openings for the blade that reduce the amount and size of material that can make it out. In the end, SawStop produced less top dust than Bosch did to earn the win.
And finally, they all include a blade guard that can be removed and reinstalled without tools. Because a few sawing operations, such as non-through cuts, require you to remove the blade guard, we like saws that make this task easy. The Bosch, DeWalt and Ridgid saws have well-designed blade guards that are easy to remove and reinstall. The blade guards on all but the Porter-Cable and Craftsman also have a feature that holds the blade guard in the raised position to allow better blade visibility for setting up cuts.
The DEWALT and Makita finished in first for our ergonomic rankings followed by a tie for second between Hitachi and Skilsaw and a tie for third place by Bosch and Ridgid. Both the DEWALT and Makita built their saw with the professional contractor in mind. Overall the entire crew really likes the saws with a rack-and-pinion fence system and the large wheels on the Skilsaw were also a big favorite.
Jeffery – As Rob explained things we had the RPM measurements running on that meter, and had to watch our video playback to evaluate the numbers (no recording of the numbers digitally). So we tried to take the average no load speed watching the video play back. Is it perfect? No….is a 10% difference a big deal? In this application I doubt it. If we were a full blown testing lab we’d have the data recorded digitally and take full blow averages, but alas we are not.
I never – not even with a big cabinet saw – enjoyed cutting down full sheets, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. So, for me, the bigger capacity of the big saws isn’t as attractive as just cutting down the sheets with a track saw. Suddenly, with a track saw and a quality saw the size of the 4100, I can achieve the same results in a smaller footprint, for less money, more safely (I consider a track saw safer than manhandling full sheets alone)
Stands are one of those features where the ends really do justify the means. Some made us wish the manual writers would take a cue from Lego—just make the *@#$! things easy enough for a 7 year old to understand. That aside, SawStop set itself aside brilliantly, taking just 10 minutes to setup. All we had to do was install the wheels and two handles. Even the packaging is designed to make the process easier and the instructions were super-easy to understand. Makita was nearly as simple only requiring us to install the handle and bolt the saw to the stand.
It’s heavy-duty. Like all great cabinet saws, the Grizzly is built from parts that can last a lifetime or more. It has a cast-iron table, that’s precision-ground to be exactly level, with no warps or imperfections. The trunnion supports holding up the motor are also solid cast iron, which means that they don’t translate much vibration to the work surface at all. The paint on the cabinet and extension frames is powder-coated, and the miter gauge and riving knife are solid steel. Both extension table surfaces are made with a coated, engineered composite, which stands up well against dings or scuffs.
You have to know the amount of money you are willing to spend for the right saw. The truth is that the price will vary significantly depending on where you are buying the saw, the brand and the features it comes with. However, with a good budget, you can easily narrow down the options you may have. You will have a smaller range to work with and you will know what features to expect within that price range. Always be willing to spend a little more on the table saw you want in your workshop especially if you work on wood every day.
You’ll also want to consider which features are most important for you. If you need extra space to work, and cut lots of larger stock, you should invest more in a saw that gives you more room. If you’re working with people who haven’t spent their lives working with professional-grade tools, or if you’re trying to meet tough workplace safety standards, you should probably spend a bit more for a unit with a skin-detection system to protect fingers or limbs.
You’ll want to look for metal framing, and a design which allows for all the most delicate components to be stored inside the tool’s body. If you’re a DIYer who won’t be travelling with your saw often, you probably don’t need to worry about finding such a heavy-duty frame. Many portable units will fit easily on the passenger’s seat, so you won’t have to deal with wear and tear so much.
When you’re deciding how much to spend, think about how often you use your saw, whether you’re using it as part of a professional workshop or as an avid hobbyist, and whether or not you can expect any return on your investments through your work. We recommend that DIYer spend closer to the $2000 mark, while professionals are more likely to get their money’s worth from something more premium.
In addition, a top-quality fence should move smoothly and have a scale that’s accurate and easy to read. Our favorite is the DeWalt fence. The rack-and-pinion system keeps the fence parallel to the blade, and the micro-adjusting knob allows easy and precise fence positioning. Runners-up in this category for best table saw are the Ridgid and Bosch saws. They both have superb fences, with the added advantage of T-slots for attaching accessories like featherboards.
When I switched blades, I did find the locking lever for the riving knife very stiff … not sure why. It raises to release the riving knife and pushes down to lock it. I resorted to gripping the lever with a pliers to manipulate it, after nicking some skin on the blade teeth. But, on the softer side, RIDGID provides a nice complement of overmolds on the miter gauge handle and blade height handwheel knob.
If you want to take the saw with you and use it in a different location, you can purchase the optional MB-PCS-000 integrated mobile base which features 2 stationary casters and 2 pivoting casters. Furthermore, it’s also possible to upgrade the mobile base assembly to a one thousand pound lift capacity, add a hydraulic piston lift and 4 independent pivoting casters.
One of the lightest and most compact table saws was also the most stable: Skilsaw. There’s no wheel base to the stand and the outward angled legs provide a wider platform than it may appear against its colleagues. In second place was DeWalt, also offering a wide platform, but without the amount of rigidity that Skilsaw has in their stand. Coming up in third was Bosch with its gravity rise stand followed closely by Ridgid. It’s important to note that none of the professional class table saws had any stability issues inherent to their extension locking—it was all in the stand.
Pre-calibrated right out of the box, Kreg’s miter gauge is a blessing for the impatient among us. The folks at Kreg know their customers don’t want to waste time preparing their tools — they want to use them! That’s why the KMS7102 boasts positive stops at a variety of the most common angles: so you can begin using your brand new miter gauge straight away.
Make sure you know what’s covered and what’s not, especially if you’ll be using your machine commercially (many warranties are strictly for individual, not commercial use). It’s also a good choice in this case to purchase add-on warranty coverage from a third party at the checkout. We recommend these policies for most portable table saws, since most manufacturers have either very short warranty coverage, or longer warranties which require you to foot the bill for service calls or for returning the machine to the maker.
This Portable Table saw includes an industry standard This Portable Table saw includes an industry standard tool-free split guard design that allows a true rise-and fall riving knife by using a lever on the inside the throat plate. It has a Tool-less assembly for the riving knife and anti-kickback pawls. It's perfect for mobile contractors and the Do-It-Yourself ... More + Product Details Close
No matter the model or price, a table saw should cut a range of material thicknesses and hold its settings accurately. So, after installing a new Freud hi-ATB thin-kerf blade in each saw, I made repeated rip cuts on MDF, resetting the fence each time to check for consistently thick offcuts. After that, I raised the blade for more rip cuts on heavy, long planks of 2 x 12 Southern yellow pine, before tipping the blade to bevel-rip 2″-thick poplar. Then I switched to a 6″ CMT dado set and made a long dado cut in MDF, so I could check for consistent cutting depth — a sign that the undercarriage is stout enough to handle a heavy blade like this. Overall, my test criteria was stability of the stand, cutting accuracy, reasonable dust collection efficiency and all-around convenience of use. Results ranged from exceptional to mediocre, as you’ll see.
Electric brakes in the saw is an important feature as helps the saw in reversing electricity in the motor, thus contributing to a precise cut. It is highly recommended that when you are buying a saw choose the one with on and off switch. The switch should be easily accessible to make work better and more efficient. In addition, the switch should have a cover. This will keep you from accidentally turning the saw on and damaging your work area or cutting yourself.
For those of you who are looking to up your DIY game but don’t have enough capital to make the Dewalt DW745 happen for your home shop, this Craftsman is a decent budget choice. It’s powerful, lightweight, and extremely affordable. We don’t think you should expect too much from this one, though, since it has a very light table and a fence that won’t line up quite as precisely as you’d need for furniture-making or professional-grade projects. It’s cheaply-made, and doesn’t have as user-friendly a design as our other choices. For the home carpenter, though, this should do the trick for all your basic framing cuts.
These tests and evaluations are very difficult, take a lot of time, and ultimately limited in scope as we’re not a professional testing company and we’ve got limited time to evaluate the tools. We cannot do longer term testing that would shed light on durability and we can’t possibly test every application that you might use of one of these saws for. However, we feel comfortable that all the table saws in this Head-to-Head are good saws and our testing helps bring to light pros and cons for each saw.
Kobalt’s KT1015 Table Saw features value pricing with a decent rolling stand. We initially had questions about its dual-locking fence, but found that it actually worked quite well. There’s plenty of wobble in it, but if you follow our Pro Tip on adjustments in the fences section, you can lock the front end in square then stabilize it with the back lock.
IMPORTANT REVIEW UPDATE (10/4/2016): After doing some additional testing with pressure-treated lumber and heavier stock, we [initially] found some issues with the Bosch REAXX saw that we couldn’t explain—except to say that it didn’t have the power we expected for cutting through denser wood. The blade exhibited a significant drop in speed during many common ripping cuts, and it even stalled out entirely at other times. We contacted Bosch and worked directly with them to determine the nature of the issue (which appeared to have to do with the saw’s electronic speed control). Here is the initial statement from Bosch on the matter:
With that said, the Dewalt DWE7491RS (another jobsite saw) has an amazing fence. It also has a greater ripping capacity – so if this additional functionality is more important to you than portability, it might be something to consider. Although keep in mind that it’s also 30lbs heavier, and the stand is much worse than that of the Bosch (which we’ll discuss later in this article).
Built on the 4100’s foundation, The Bosch REAXX exhibits similar performance with a few improvements. Despite what we’ve seen online, the REAXX did seem to have better cutting power than the 4100. (see Editor’s Note above) The narrow throat plate opening also gave it much better dust collection, allowing only the finest material to make its way out. It shares the top ranking gravity rise stand with the 4100.
The purchase of a table saw is no doubt a big investment. But there is a lot of flexibility in this class of tools to find one that fits in with your budget and your wants. Make sure to take into account how you will need to use the tool and where you will need to use it. Heavier models will be sturdier but they will also require more effort to load up when you need to.
Both of these table saws have a port that connects to a shop vacuum for dust collection. The DEWALT features a 2.5” port, while the Bosch has a 2” port. However, neither seems to do all that great a job. The Bosch might fare a little worse as far as the dust port clogging, but the DEWALT has some problems in this area, too. The Bosch is said to spew sawdust on the floor as though there was no dust collection port at all. The DEWALT racks up some complaints about the same problem.
It’s just as powerful as our other recommendations. The SawStop has a 3HP belt-driven motor, and like the Jet, it uses a tweaked multi-belt drive system to transfer maximum power from the drive shaft to the blade. That makes for as powerful a cabinet saw as any on the market. This one slices smoothly through anything you can feed into it. It also has a slightly thicker max cutting depth than our other recommendations, so it’s the better choice for sturdy stock.
We used the Freud calibration plate on each of the test saws to measure runout. We removed the new Diablo blade, installed the calibration plate, and raised the trunnion to its maximum vertical adjustment. Before measuring the runout, we placed a black mark on the calibration plate to give a consistent starting position for the runout test. The same iGauging dial indicator provided the test measurements, only this time, the units were set to read out in mm. TBB noticed that in the initial saws, the movements were sufficiently small to need the smaller metric units.
Different types of table saw rely on different motors. With the smaller and more portable saws, 120V direct drive motors can deliver up to 2HP. This is more than enough power if you’re working with less substantial sheets of material. The larger saws have belt drive motors running on 240V. These produce 3-5HP. Think carefully about the materials you’ll be working with. Get the right sized motor for your cutting needs.
If you need a table saw that can travel, the Bosch 4100-09 consistently earns high marks. Reviewers praise its power, accuracy, easy setup, and easy blade changes. They also love the gravity-rise wheeled stand, which rolls smoothly and snaps open or folds flat in a single lever-activated motion. Finally, they appreciate the convenience of the blade guard system, complete with riving knife and anti-kickback pawls.
With this saw, it was a very easy thing to plug it on and get started. The included cord is a reasonable length, but you’ll still need an extension cord unless you happen to be right next to an outlet in your workshop. Raising and lowering the blade is a smooth process and we found the mechanism to be nice and stiff, so you can be very precise with your cut depth. Only time will reveal whether or not this stays tight over the long haul, but it seems to be well-made. Mounting the accessories, like the smart guard system is quick. You just raise the riving knife using the release lever. The riving knife locks into a lower and upper position through the use of two sets of pins. In the upper position it is ready to accept the barrier guard, which you can remove from below the saw. It attaches easily with a lever lock and the anti-kickback device can then be placed on the back of the riving knife such that the teeth are set to grab any wood brought forward by the blade. The physical nature of the barrier guard assembly precludes you from placing your fingers anywhere near the cutting surface of the blade. We (and Bosch) recommend keeping this guard on the saw anytime you are doing “through” cuts. All-in-all, the table saw’s included safety features are more than adequate to keep you from encountering any unfortunate accidents. Removing them, or using the tool improperly, however, will considerably raise your level of risk.
About three paces from where I tested these portable table saws sits my late-model cabinet saw. As a serious woodworker and magazine editor, I can’t imagine not having it. Its powerful 3hp motor, spacious cast-iron tabletop and almost hair-splitting precision makes most other saw options pale by comparison. But all this said, a cabinet saw isn’t everything. The thought of moving that behemoth down the steps to a basement shop sends chills up my spine. I sure can’t toss it into a car trunk to help a friend down the road. My saw takes up a huge footprint of shop floor, and it cost a small fortune. I don’t know of any stationary table saw that sells for less than $700 new these days, and that can empty the coffer of a modest tool budget.
The thing you might not like about it is the non-flat table top. Many people find this downside as quite a burden, especially if you’re processing perfectly flat wood. Also, the protective coating on the top side of this model is pretty subpar. In fact, it barely protects anything. Consequently, it will peel off quite quickly. As far as the price goes, it’s okay, but it could have been a bit cheaper.
By the late 18th century, a new tool had been created that would eventually have the sawyers out of work: the circular saw. These early rotating saws were powered by a range of different forces, often including running water or wind, and sometimes driven by animal power. By the early 1800s, the sawmill was replacing the saw pit and its hardworking manual sawyers.
The Shop Fox W1819 also comes with a miter fence with flip stop which provides excellent workpiece support and is great for longer workpieces. As for the flip stop, it’s going to be very useful especially when wanting to make several cuts of the same width. If you want to cut longer workpieces, you can also flip it out of the way and then pivot it back down in order to make more cuts at the cutting width of your choice.
Today's table saws also include riving knives, which ride up and down with the blade when its height is changed, rather than splitters that are fixed in place. The problem with the old splitters was that they had to be removed for certain types of cuts, and users might forget to put them back on before making rip cuts. This increased the risk of kickback injuries, which occur when the spinning blade kicks back a piece of wood toward the user with tremendous force, causing serious injury to any part of the body that's hit.
Like the Bosch, this Dewalt comes with a rolling stand. It’s convenient to set up and take down, since you can do it without helpers or tools. It rolls like a dolly, and opens into a nice, sturdy table. We especially like the splayed legs, since they lend the whole thing a bit more stability than the Bosch version. Unlike the Bosch’s stand, the Dewalt’s has semi-pneumatic tires which won’t ever go flat.
Bosch’s Gravity Rise Stand was the best portable design of the group. While several stands share the basic principles, Bosch stood out with large diameter tubing that improves durability, the ease of set up/take down, and the larger pneumatic wheels that helps over less than ideal terrain. SawStop was right behind with slightly narrower wheels while Ridgid wrapped up the top 3 most impressive.
One of the first and most important things to consider is what type of table saw you require. When considering the type make sure you consider things like, where will be using the saw, will it need to be portable and move from job to job or can it be stationary like in a work shop. Also, what will be the largest size bits of timber I will be cutting, what sort of power will I require and budget, below we’ve listed the main types so we hope it helps you find the right type for you.
What if a contractor uses their job site saw for high quality built-ins or high tolerance finished cuts? In that case, saw accuracy is critical for that work. In this use case, if the saw is immediately put into use, success depends upon the out-of-the-box accuracy from the manufacturer. The quality of the cuts and more importantly the potential safety of the operator is going to be a function of the as-shipped accuracy of the saw from the manufacturer.
But with top quality saws come features that some people may find well worth the extra investment, substantial though it may be, and thus our discussion starts with pricier models. At the top price range for table saws, you can often get a saw with safety technology that will automatically halt its blade the instant it encounters human flesh. (The process literally takes but a few milliseconds.) The knowledge that your fingers and hands are safe from major injury caused by a rapidly rotating, razor sharp blade is more than convincing enough for many people to invest in these technologically marvelous table saws.
We hear the term accuracy tossed around when it comes to finding the best portable jobsite table saw, but we really have to narrow down what that means. Every saw we tested has the capability of being calibrated and it should be the first thing you do after setting it up. Like a new miter saw, blade calibration is simply part of delivering professional results.
Cutting a board to length by using the fence as a guide is one of the most dangerous yet very common techniques. The fact that it’s quite common among DIY-ers doesn’t make it safe. In fact, it’s extremely dangerous and can lead to fatal consequences. There is a high risk of kickback if you’re using this particular technique. Needless to say, the forces involved are immense, and you’ll end up with a piece of wood in your face. One could say – “But, I’m wearing safety goggles!” Even though it may be true, goggles won’t do much against a dense piece of wood flying straight to your face a few hundred miles per hour.